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New research reveals Black and Pakistani men commute shortest distances

Originally Published 3 November 1999

New research from the University of Warwick shows wide differences in the commuting patterns of ethnic groups. Researchers Dr David Owen and Anne Green found that:-

  • minority ethnic groups are more than twice as likely as white people to depend on public transport for commuting journeys, with nearly three-fifths of Black-African workers using public transport to get to work.
  • Black people are more dependent than other minority ethnic groups on public transport.
  • Pakistani and Indian workers are least likely to use public transport. More than a fifth of Bangladeshis walk, cycle or use another method to reach their work.
  • In all ethnic groups, women are more likely than men to use public transport or other methods (walking, cycling, etc) to get to work, reflecting their greater likelihood of working close to home. This contrast is particularly marked for white women.

One of the tables in the full report shows the contrasts in the commuting distances between employees by ethnic group. On average, white people commute 0.9 kilometres further than those from minority ethnic groups, but there are marked differences in distance travelled, with Chinese and 'Other' ethnic groups travelling further than white people on average, and Black, Indian and Pakistani people having shorter mean commuting distances.

White men have much longer mean commuting distances than men from all other ethnic groups except Other-Asian and Other-Other. Black men commute less far than South Asian men, though Pakistani men and women have the shortest mean commuting distances.

The labour market situation of Britain's ethnic minority population is of fundamental concern for policy makers and planners particularly with the increasing proportion of young people from ethnic minority groups who will be entering the labour market in the next decade, and also because of the major challenge that already exists in turning around the local economies of the inner parts of the large cities and conurbations where the vast majority of the ethnic minority population live.

For further information contact:

Dr David Owen, Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations
University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 524259

or Ms Anne Green
IER University of Warwick, Office:024 76 524113

Further information about the above press release and all other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:

Peter Dunn, Press Officer
Public Affairs Office
Senate House
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
West Midlands
Tel: 024 76 523708